Feeds

Euro Parliament kills ACTA treaty before court can look at it

Intellectual property is theft, says Brussels

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

As widely expected, the hapless Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) treaty has been rejected by the European Parliament.

European MPs wanted to push through a vote before the European Court of Justice had ruled on whether ACTA is compatible with European Treaties - and succeeded. Altogether 478 MEPs voted against ratifying the treaty, while 39 supported it – 165 MEPs didn't turn up at all.

The treaty lost its copyright liability provisions some time ago, and its rejection will hurt many SMEs and small inventors who genuinely need help in policing their trademarks and brands against fraudsters and copy-cats.

Many of the larger world economies have signed the agreement – including the USA, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Australia and Canada – although no one has ratified it yet. There is some pressure to put it to a Congressional vote in the States and the Australian government recently recommended that ratification be deferred.

The treaty was partially designed to lower the costs of intercepting counterfeit trade - including fake drugs - across borders.

One entertainment industry attorney told El Reg privately that it had been a mistake to negotiate in private, since this stoked the anti-copyright activists' most paranoid fantasies. And these are vivid, as illustrated here.

"It does nothing for us," he told us.

And timing didn't help. After the US SOPA legislation was sunk, activists were in high spirits and took to the streets believing ACTA was SOPA re-incarnated. Even websites reliably sympathetic to the freetard cause appealed to the activists to calm down, pointing out many of the arguments against ACTA were myths.

"Repressive measures are not the right way forward," said EuroISPA president Malcolm Hutty in a statement today.

The European Publishers Council pointed out that:

“The European Parliament has totally ignored proper judicial procedure. It has given in to pressure from anti-copyright groups despite calls from thousands of companies and workers in manufacturing and creative sectors who have called for ACTA to be signed in order that their rights as creators be protected.”

Another source told El Reg:

"There was tension between the Parliament and the Council/member states because the member states negotiated the criminal sanctions chapter of ACTA, whereas a criminal sanctions directive, agreed by the Parliament several years ago, never saw the light of day as it remains blocked in the Council." ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.